Cucina Rustica's chocolate trio torte

Cucina Rustica's chocolate trio torte (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times / August 25, 2012)

1/4 cup very cold water

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Prepared chocolate cookie crust

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat 1¼ cups of the heavy cream to very soft peaks. Place the bowl in the refrigerator until needed.

2. In a medium bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water to soften. Set the mixture aside for several minutes until all of the gelatin is softened.

3. Place the gelatin bowl over a larger pot of simmering water (a double boiler) and heat until the gelatin melts into the water. Remove the double boiler from the stove and set aside.

4. Place the chocolate in a large bowl.

5. Pour the remaining one-half cup cream into a medium, heavy-bottom saucepan and scald over high heat. Continue to heat until the cream really begins to bubble, then remove from heat and pour the cream over the chocolate. Set the mixture aside for several minutes to allow the cream to begin to melt the chocolate, then begin to whisk the cream into the chocolate.

6. Whisk the chocolate for several minutes until it is completely melted and combined with the cream and the cream has cooled. Whisk in the gelatin mixture until smooth and creamy, then gently fold in the lightly whipped cream until evenly combined.

7. Pour the mousse over the chocolate cookie crust and return to the freezer to set up the mousse.

Milk chocolate mousse assembly

1 3/4 cups heavy cream, divided

1 1/2 teaspoons powdered gelatin

1/4 cup very cold water

8 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped

Prepared chocolate cookie crust with set bittersweet mousse layer

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat 1¼ cups of the heavy cream to very soft peaks. Place the bowl in the refrigerator until needed.

2. In a medium bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water to soften. Set the mixture aside for several minutes until all of the gelatin is softened.

3. Place the gelatin bowl over a larger pot of simmering water (a double boiler) and heat until the gelatin melts into the water. Remove the double boiler from the stove and set aside.

4. Place the chocolate in a large bowl.